Objectivism – The Role of Art

Art and Objectivism - Ayn RandA form of personal philosophy which was born over the 20th Century by the novelist Ayn Rand, Objectivism takes the views that man is a heroic being whose only true moral purpose during life is his own happiness.  The philosophy expands on the idea that reality is independent from consciousness and that individuals are only in contact with that reality through their sensory perceptions.  Concept formation is how individuals will begin to understand and interpret that reality into their own lives.  Art itself is an important part of Objectivism, as it is how man can transform large, metaphysical ideas and ideals into a tangible, physical form to which they can react and understand.

Rand chose the name Objectivism for her philosophy, basing it off of musings of other philosophers, such as Kierkegaard and Sartre, who helped establish and define Existentialism.  She felt that her idea sprang forth from Existentialism but that her ideas were a little more specific.  Knowledge and ideals are objective, not intrinsic or subjective.  These values do not make a part of the reality, which actually exists, but at the same time, those values are not defined on a person-by-person basis.

The role of art is an important one with Objectivism, for it allows human beings to understand concepts as if they were perceptions.  The art becomes a selective representation of reality based on the artist’s particular viewpoint of metaphysical judgments.  Objectivism itself considers art as an ethical way to convey an idea or a moral for its purpose is not to educate but merely to project a certain set of ideas. In fact, Objectivism says that art should be uplifting and that is should show things that uplift. Good Art should represent the rational man, and the ideals that are associated with human reason.

Photo: Infiltec

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